Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Latest....

The Broncos held another afternoon practice as they chomp at the bit to get this first round playoff series underway with the Regina Pats.

Broncos rookie of the year Cody Eakin is anxious to drop the puck on the opening round.

"Can't wait.... can't wait, we want to get back at them for last year. We have something to prove to them so hopefully we can come out of the weekend with both wins."

All this from a player who was a spectator in last year's playoffs as a 15 year-old call-up.

I sense a quiet confidence from this team. They have this look to them, this poise that I haven't seen for some time. No one is talking Memorial Cup... or round two for that matter. They're just focused on the Pats and the task at hand.

Everett Silvertips Head Coach Kevin Constantine once dropped a quote that I haven't forgotten.

"You tend to always focus on your team's weaknesses while only seeing the other team's greatness."

It's a comment that holds true for me anyways. Especially when you really start breaking down the match-up. I guess it's human nature to be a little cautious.

With that said, when the Broncos were all on-stage at the awards banquet and I looked up and down the row of 24 players, the veterans, the young talent, the swagger... I thought to myself, "boy this is a talented group".

In my opinion, the last Broncos team to have this much talent would have been the 2000-2001 team. The likes of Layne Ulmer, Duncan Milroy, Nathan Smith, Tim Smith, Benny Ondrus and Ian White took the Red Deer Rebels to six games in the Eastern Conference Final. The Rebels went on to win the Memorial Cup that year. The Rebels had an unbelievable squad as I recall.

The Broncos will leave tomorrow night after supper for the Queen City before checking into the hotel. I know Trina will look after us when we arrive to Regina's east side. We're looking forward to hunkering down in Bronco camp and get this playoff series underway.

My colorman Ryan Switzer will be making the trip and will join me for both playoff broadcasts from the Brandt Center.

Broncos Head Coach and General Manager Dean Chynoweth will host the annual General Manager's Luncheon today from the Credit Union I-plex Auditorium.

He will address the crowd in attendance and take some questions following the lunch. Tickets are still available by calling the Broncos office this morning 773 - 1509.


More quotes from the Broncos awards banquet Monday night.

Zack Smith on being named the Broncos MVP...

"It's been a long trip with the Broncos to get where I'm at now. I just stuck with it and got the opportunity that the coaching staff... especially Dean has given me. I guess I owe it all to them with where I'm at. That hard work seems to be paying off."

Dale Wiese on being named the Fans Most Popular....

"That's huge for me. I like to play for the fans, I like to go out and play a physical game. I didn't have to fight as much this year as last year, I think I've
proven myself and this year I kind of flourished in a more offensive role and I think the fans liked that."

Bretton Stamler on capturing the Leadership and Maturity Award...

"I think it symbolizes that I've grown a lot as a player since I've come into this league. I didn't really know anything, pretty immature both mentally and in my play. I've come a long ways on the ice but as also as a person.

More later....


Anonymous said...

who are the playoff call ups this year??

Jon Keen said...

Maybe Christian Magnus, last year's 1st rounder. I haven't heard though. The roster is already at 24 with Taylor Vause up for the rest of the year.